Archive for April 2009

That is not what this public debate is about

Apr 11th, 2009 1:08 pm | By

Stop the presses – a Catholic archbishop is a Catholic archbishop. He disagrees with Tony Blair about homosexuality. Stone the crows.

Mr Blair is a very fine politician and he has got very well-tuned political senses. But I am afraid the way the Catholic Church thinks is rather different to that and I think I will take my guide from Pope Benedict actually.

Well yes, we know. The way the Catholic church thinks is rather different: it ignores new ideas and knowledge about what is best for human beings, what does and does not harm people, what is and is not fair in human terms, and the like, and instead it consults its prejudices, attributes them to an unavailable … Read the rest

Tennessee: Tornado Kills Woman and Baby *

Apr 11th, 2009 | Filed by

Survivors rush to thank God for sparing them.… Read the rest

Jonathan Turley on Laws Against ‘Religious Hatred’ *

Apr 11th, 2009 | Filed by

They’re a bad idea.… Read the rest

Johann Hari on What-aboutery *

Apr 11th, 2009 | Filed by

The best way to respond is to state a simple truth: there can be more than one bad thing in the world. … Read the rest

A N Wilson Talks the Extraordinary Dreck *

Apr 11th, 2009 | Filed by

Sneer, sneer, sneer, sneer, I’m better than they are, sneer.… Read the rest

Catholic Archbishop Talks the Usual Dreck *

Apr 11th, 2009 | Filed by

The pope was defending African women, it’s a sensitive point, I’m not going to answer your question.… Read the rest

Bishop Insists: the Resurrection is Real *

Apr 11th, 2009 | Filed by

It really really really happened. We know this.… Read the rest

Among the bottom-feeders

Apr 10th, 2009 5:17 pm | By

I had another look at that post David Thompson did last July, and noticed a couple of things. Ironically (or not) I wanted to address that post in a substantive way at the time, and was just about to, but then the torrent of sexist abuse killed any interest in engaging, so I never got to it. This is, by the way, one reason epithets are not such a great thing: discussions that collapse into stupid name-calling do not generally also manage to discuss ideas in a substantive way. That’s probably because discussions that collapse into stupid name-calling tend to repel intelligent people and attract stupid ones, which makes substantive discussion kind of difficult. There is something quite risible … Read the rest

A few days in the low countries

Apr 10th, 2009 5:00 pm | By

This discussion gets more and more peculiar and interesting as it goes on. There is a whiff of disingenuousness about much of it – a peculiar air of outraged innocence about something that many people take to be a very overt insult. The thing that’s peculiar about that is that usually when we are told we have accidentally said something insulting – we blush and stammer and hasten to explain that we didn’t mean it that way. We don’t insist on going on using the word in the way we (but not other people) understand it. Yet this apparently doesn’t apply to epithets about women. That’s interesting.

Suppose you know a little Dutch, and you’re in Haarlem visiting friends, and … Read the rest

A Telephone to God *

Apr 10th, 2009 | Filed by

But you have to leave a message. No reports of God calling back yet.… Read the rest

What’s New About New Atheism? *

Apr 10th, 2009 | Filed by

The more clerics rely on arguments based on religious claims, the more those claims will be challenged.… Read the rest

Michael Ruse on ‘Darwinism’ and Christianity *

Apr 10th, 2009 | Filed by

If a parent objects to what a child is being taught in science class, the teaching is religious and unconstitutional.… Read the rest

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on ‘Fresh Air’ *

Apr 10th, 2009 | Filed by

The president of Liberia talks to Terry Gross.… Read the rest

Transcending Madeleine Bunting *

Apr 10th, 2009 | Filed by

Bunting argues all systems of thought rely on myth. Not all of them do. One in particular: thinking.… Read the rest

Blair Talks of ‘His Spiritual Side’ *

Apr 10th, 2009 | Filed by

He believes that expanding faith school provision helped to foster inter-faith relations.… Read the rest

Tony Blair Should Shut Up About the Church *

Apr 10th, 2009 | Filed by

Given his commitment to female equality, what does he really think of a church that bans women priests?… Read the rest

Ben Goldacre’s Missing Chapter on Matthias Rath *

Apr 9th, 2009 | Filed by

How Rath and Mbeki combined to block treatment by anti-retroviral drugs in South Africa.… Read the rest

Taj Hargey Takes on the ‘Muslim McCarthyists’ *

Apr 9th, 2009 | Filed by

‘Progressives like me are described as heretics in order to ruin our credibility.’… Read the rest

Telling the Truth About the Armenian Genocide *

Apr 9th, 2009 | Filed by

‘Not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence.’… Read the rest

Reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Birmingham *

Apr 9th, 2009 | Filed by

“Imams and Mullahs ignore our plight, and the community labels women ‘mad’ or ‘heretic’ or ‘loose’ when they stand up for their rights.”… Read the rest